By Dongjin “Scott” Seo and Sofia Ladak
Staff Reporter and Sports Editor
A common complaint in DAA is one regarding the cafeteria food provided by PH7. According to PH7’s official website, the company is “one of the leading catering companies focusing on healthy and balanced meals serving 26 schools.” Unfortunately, many students at DAA do not exactly agree with this claim, as the food that is provided has even stopped many people from eating from the cafeteria due to the lack of quality and quantity.
When asked what he would want more of, a senior named Mohamed Contractor said that he would like, “wholesome, good tasting food. No chewy, rubber-chicken. No translucent, undercooked spaghetti. No cakes of al-dente rice.” This accurately depicts the quality of the cafeteria’s food as well as most student’s experiences with PH7. However, it is interesting to note that it is not just the students who are dissatisfied with the cafeteria food, but some teachers as well. A DAA teacher, who will remain anonymous, claims that the “cafeteria is atrocious. Inedible and unfresh.” They even provide a suggestion to look at “other schools” such as “DIA and JESS for wholesome, nutritious and affordable food. The salad and fruit bar at Lulu is wonderful. Perhaps something like this would be better? Overcooked pasta with a sauce soaked in water is not a ‘meal’ and shouldn’t cost 15 dirhams (DHS)! A ‘juice’ that is 3 DHS in every store in Dubai should not cost 8-10 DHS” here.
Along with the taste and quality of the cafeteria food being poor, the amount of food is no exception. Often times, students come to the cafeteria during second lunch to find a lack of sufficient amount of food to eat. Out of a survey with 205 responses sent out to the DAA High School, 62% of students never have the food they want during second lunch. This is over half of the DAA high school’s population. This is alongside another 34.6% who sometimes do not have food during lunch 2. This means that on average, over 95% of the high school that eats during lunch 2 has encountered this problem at least once, which is more than enough to know that something needs to be changed. A common business strategy is to always have more of what sells more, but that does not seem to be the case for PH7. From the same group of students who responded to the survey above, 52.7% purchase the cheese/tomato twists and pastries provided on a daily basis. Additionally, 22% get the typical selection of rice and a meat with a sauce for the day. Evidently, these are what are most popular in the school, therefore it would make more sense to have more of it available for students. Furthermore, why doesn’t PH7 increase the portion and quality of the hot meals, so the students do not have to resort to buying pastries?
Tackling these issues may take some time, however it should be a top priority for PH7. Students and teachers of DAA should not be provided with food that makes them think twice about eating in the cafeteria. Members of the DAA community should be able to come to school and have a selection of choices for their lunch. Without a doubt, there should be a better approach to improving the quality and quantity of the cafeteria food at DAA.